i was wondering if any one has hunted x5b and could point me to some part of the zone i might i have a chance of seeing some good deer? never been there before so i figured i beter start asking around early.
I think it's funny when the draw results come out, new members join wanting all the info for the zone they drew...
Your right hunting fool, see im opposite, i gotta know where im going, where the higher concentration of deer are,etc. before i put in for that tag.
I joined here in '06 after I drew a tule elk tag and members were very helpful. Members who never had that tag but were familiar with the herd. As a result I liked this site and have continued to participate. Your remarks could very well turn him off from ever returning. I enjoy applying for different zones, states and species and when I draw those tags I find that there are friendly, helpful hunters, both on the web and in person who are willing to help. Is that a crime ? I also find a few that are jerks and would even bum steer you. Which one are you ?
I intend to apply for X5b one day, but not until after I've drawn the Strip tag. Maybe then I can pick thundermaker's brain.
Good luck to you thundermaker.
The only help I can give you is that back in '92 I was scouting for antelope (surprize valley tag) in X3b and I saw 3 really nice bucks in velvet just across the dirt road on the X5b side.
Well said glass eye! I joined this group not but a few months ago because there was a hunter who took the time to share knowledge of the rules and regs of california hunting. that said ive been able to educate a few guys at work who might never have decided to try hunting due to just not knowing how to become legal. My case is im military and come from a place where things are a little more easy for hunters and draws are kinda un heard of. Thank you to all the helpful folks out there that take a moment to help a guy in need even if hes a newbie!
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If you are not working to protect hunting, then you are working to destroy it. -Fred Bear
Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forest and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.-Fred Bear
Glass eye thanks for the input appreciate it. you draw an X5b ill have no problem telling what i find out this year, good luck with the strip tag. spotnstalk26 i do know where im going to X5b the reason i put in for it is because of the high hunter success rate compared to most X zones which i think does somewhat relate to deer numbers. planning on trying to do some preseason scouting end of july, just wondering if someone might know of a starting point for me?
No I never said it was a crime, just think it is funny....I attempt to do as much leg work as possible myself and then ask questions...This is what the site is for and am not against it. I have experimented many time with new hunting zones, good luck.
Here to nip this in the bud again this year.
Huntin Fool, would you want to be welcomed to a forum with a rude post like yours? I don't think anybody would. This forum is to have fun and share some laughs and info. Sure there are going to be newbies showing up here after getting a tag, some will be hunting vets and some will be brand new hunters. Google will steer many here so if you don't have anything good to say why not just click on to another thread? This will also prevent rude members from driving off visitors, and yes I get emails and PMs asking why SOME folks here are not very friendly.
Back to the topic, X5b.
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You can always tell who's in 2nd place by who's whining and crying the most. - Old hockey coach.
Dum spiramus tuebimur
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I dont hunt x5b but I have hunted country just like it my advice would be to hunt the low country the open sage .Most cali hunters look at a place and think they need to climb the highest moutain with trees on it to find a muley its not so in that country.The hardest part about hunting the low country is the deer population is low and they can be scaterd but when you find there spot stick to it and dont give up.I have watched many a mule deer lay down for the day with no shade in rolling sage country they just huncker up next to a bush and they are fine.
I like big racks
The bucks I saw were also down low in the sage. Also, a successful archer in X3B was showing me pics of his buck. He told me that he had killed it up on the pass (pines) but the pics showed low sage country.
Im sorry, but i think a couple guys got off on the wrong foot. I was just saying from my point of view of my strategy. Never hunted x5b and dont mind telling someone about that tag since u can only draw it once every 7, Thunder maker im sorry about my post, should have rephrased it. Get on google earth and look up dodge reservoir, its closer to nevada border, 2 guys i know got one 24" 4x3, and a 27" 4x4, about 7 miles south of the reservoir, saw about 5-10 bucks a day they said. Im gonna find out the exact dirt road they took in there to pinpont for ya.
In 98 we drew 5 tags as a party. We killed 2 opening morning on schinn peaks and a third the last weekend of the season on cherry mountain. Every step is as ankle turner out there. There will be guys every where but like they say get out well before daylight and stay out til last light. Therte is a nice campground on the road bettween schinn peak and spanish peak. To get a spot, get there at least by friday morning. It is probably the last time you wil ever draw this zone so don't wait til opening morning to check it out. You could probably shoot the deert of a lifetime out there so dont skimp on preparation.. Good lucck.
Schinn peak is a spot I have always heard about but I dont like crowds thats why I hunt low most people drive through country I hunt on there way up to the moutains.What I mean by low is still 4500 to 5500 its just as low as you can go in the high desert country.
I like big racks
Thanks for the info, i appreciate it. planning a trip to do some scouting in august. going to put a call into the biologist and game warden for the area before i go up scouting to see if they can give some more info on where to start looking.
Myself, I have heard a lot about Cherry Mtn and Skedaddle Mtn if that helps....
Last edited by Huntin Fool; 06-24-2010 at 08:45 PM.
X5-B, or A for that matter, is no easy hunt. The deer numbers are REALLY down in those units and the fairly high percentage of successful hunters, IMO, is not a very good indication of the zones deer numbers. Can i spell Mountain Lions?
The good news is that there are a few isolated pockets within the unit that hold decent bucks and some of the info above toward locations is certainly valid.
Plus, Plus, there is always the chance of running into a real smoker buck. Just go in with the knowledge that this area is not near what it once was, you'll probably have to work very hard for a good buck, and a rabbits foot in your pocket couldn't hurt.
joey is right
I helped pops with his x5a hunt a few years back and it was nothing like it used to be 10 15 years back. We saw one little crabclaw buck and the ridge we hunted held no deer but it always used to.
Good luck and do your homework
I have a new area in Nevada this year that we have to get to know its all part of the experience
Hey Thundermaker, you may want to talk to some of guides in the area. They have some good ideas on how to hunt the area. Those deer will hold tight too. When I killed my deer there, we were taking a break on a rock and had been there 10 minutes before the deer busted right out from underneath us, and we must have walked right past him. HE was only a 20 inch 3x but he had the body of a horse, and for all the skeptics out there, I killed it with a 6mm remington. In the right side, through both lungs and lodged just under the skin on the other side.
I drew X5B a long time ago. We hunted skedaddle mountain and shinn peak. I like skedaddle better. One of the locals killed a 5x5 28" buck. The way he hunted that area was getting on top of rim rock cliffs and kick rocks down below, it would jump bedded bucks out. We passed on smaller buck hoping for that monster, we seen it on the last day but couldn't close the deal. Get high and glass, those bucks will bed up right in the wide open sage and you would never know they were there. Very little amount of trees but has a nice aspen grove with rim rock on the eastern side. It's a long way back in there but should be good. Numbers are way down from when I went.
Good luck and welcome to the site.
I am happy to help. Either myself or my hunting partner have hunted that zone twice before for deer and once for antelope. As others have said, the typical spots are good (skedaddle, shinn and cherry mountains). The biggest buck I have ever seen on the hoof was in the Cold Creek area near the north end of the zone. Have also seen good bucks up the Rodeo Flat foad, near Pete Springs (south of painters flats), up Al Shinn Canyon is good, but you have to get up in there early as the folks that sleep in will walk right up the canyon from the bottom and blow bucks out 500 yards ahead of themselves and funnel them right to you. Before we went we got topo maps of all of the areas and had the warden that had worked that area for years highlight the hot spots. I can pull it out of my map box and get you some more details if you want to send me a message. I live in Redding.
You can't kill one by sitting on the couch!
Good place to camp is the Ramhorn Spring campgrounds saw a nice buck right next to the campgrounds one year well scouting.
Scout out Shinn Ranch Rd area, Shinn peak, 5 Spring Mtn, Cottonwood Mtn, Dodge Reservior, Skedaddle mtn, Spanish Springs and Buckhorn Cyn all these places will hold deer, Hope your scouting turns up a nice buck for ya.
Congrats on your drawing x5b. Our party of 5 was also drawn. We hunted the area east of Ravendale, on Button Mt. in '99 right after a huge fire that wiped out a great deal of the habitat. We saw some nice bucks and my partner got one that was just over 31". He was sitting on a ridge with me taking a break, smoking a cig. We had been sitting there for about 15 minutes when this monster jumped out of the sage brush no more than 50 yards from us. He was quicker than me and he dropped him.
The other members of our party have hunted in that area quite a bit before the preference point system. Each time they've hunted there they've scored nice bucks. That's where we'll be hunting this year. I understand that the habitat has come back since '99 and the deer have returned.
Hope that helps.
See thundermaker. Just like when I killed my buck, we had been taking a siesta on a rock ledge and out shot a deer not 30 yards from us, after at least 2 poptarts and a little sunny delight, probably 10 minutes. Sometimes they hold tighter than a bulls ass in fly season and other ttimes they bust at a half a mile. Everyone here has coverd about eveery part of the zone, it is not that big, and they all produce good bucks. So when you scout you just have to find the terrain you prefer best, you will find bucks in all of it, and looking at the stats for that area, it will more than likely be a 4x, hopefully with mass and junk and widdth and dthe whole bit. So next year when I draw it you can tell me where you =shot yours
Huntdux thanks for the info I heard that the BLM is going to gather some of the wild horses and burros south of observation peak in late september cant tell you if its forsure yet but thats what i heard dont know how much it will affect the deer though. im kind of liking some of the country along the southern nevada(southern end of the zone) border at least on the maps ill see if i still like it when i look it over next week.
Jrad appreciate the help. i figured its gonna be somthing like hunting eastern oregon the deer there will crawl right into some junipers or clumps of sage and just put their heads down and let you walk right by.
Thanks for the heads up on the horse roundup. I'll have to keep up on that. Keep me posted on your scouting trip. I'll be doing some scouting in that area at the end of the month for antelope and deer. My partner and I got drawn for period 2 lassen. I'll let you know what I see.
I have personally hunted the 5b area twice, and hunted it with my father several more before the point system was in place. The best advice I could give a person hunting that area is to wait until the last week of the season. As the season passes, some of the bucks will start migrating into that unit from Nevada, and you will see bucks that weren't in that country the first week. The last time I hunted there, I waited until the last weekend to pull the trigger, and was glad I did so. Shoot me an email and I would be glad to help with some hints.
It's been years since I've hunted that zone, but if you want specific spots send me a pm.
I prefer the weather to be hot, hot, hot, it congregates the deer within a mile of the water sources. But anyway you look at it, it's a tough zone to hunt; that volcanic ground is just hard on a person while supplying plenty of cover. Generally you can find a few deer in there year round, but the main migration comes in from the North and North East. The deer will generally hold tight in hot weather, so your going to want the best optics you can get, as if your lucky enough to spot a bedded buck, a spot and stalk is very do-able.
Staying super low and hunting the gullies can produce, but it means covering miles of ground per sighting; but since very few if anybody does this, some big boys lurk in the out of the way low places. My experience demonstrated that the high elevations are pointless; plenty of sign, but the deer moved out to places providing much better cover (during the season). The first time I hunted the zone, some 30 plus years ago, I passed on several 3x3s over the first week before finding the big boys holed up in a remote canyon just over a hill from a water source during the final week. My point being that it takes time to learn the zone; if you scout it (which I recommend) during the summer, don't expect to find deer, or if you do find deer, expect that they will be someplace different during the season. Your preseason scouting should focus on 3 key factors, 1) food, 2) cover, 3) water. The odds of having the weather be wet during the season is slim to none; but if it is wet it'll disperse the deer making it easy to find deer, but in my opinion harder to find the big bucks. One year I hunted X-5B the first week was a steady 115 degrees; if you can handle the heat, it actually makes for an easier hunt, in my opinion anyway. The second week cooled of a couple of degrees, but was pretty much the same.
I drew the zone a few time years back, then went about 20 years without drawing it once; the odds back then dictated about a draw once every 10 years, but that didn't hold true for me. Since the point system, I've opted for an easier draw and investing my time into learning my new zone; it's just starting to pay off.
Considering our draw system, and the odds, I can fully understand people drawing tags for unfamiliar zones, and the desire for good information. Personally, I as many consider X5B to be the best trophy zone in the state, with 5A and 3B also being good bets. Frankly I don't blame a deer hunter for trying to draw one of these zones; and your doing the right thing in requesting information and planning a scouting trip. Your a lucky hunter holding a tag for what is undoubtedly the best chance at a true trophy within the state of California. Most years there are some 30+ inchers taken out of the zone; I for one have a 30+ year old picture taken from the cab of the truck during chucker season of one well over 40. I actually first spotted him with five other bucks during the hunting season while I was holding a tag. Needless to say, I never took the buck, and never heard of anyone else taking him. I tried drawing that zone for the next 20 years before finally giving up and moving to a zone with some potential and good potential to draw. But my advice is to hold out for one you'll want to put up on the wall!
I have hunted this zone 3 times, we were really lucky when it was a straight lotto.
Anyway try hunting behind buckhorn Res, go past it about two miles then up to a dry lake it's right on the Nev boarder. Hunt those canyons that head back down toward painters flat. Also try some of those alfalfa fields, they are private but the ridges that are next to them hold some nice bucks.